17 December 2020
Nomen omen. A lamp that calls itself Lumiere is a lamp that does not shy away from proclaiming its identity. One that doesn’t hide behind exotic or imaginary names, conjuring up suggestions of far-away lands or imaginary situations. Nor does it hide behind acronyms to demonstrate its familiarity with complicated technology.
Lumiere has only one affectation, the fact that it has a French name. An affectation mitigated by the fact that the “e” lacks a grave accent. Perhaps the name is just a simple echo of the Ville Lumière, the city that boasted the first gas lighting, expressing a desire to be something useful, functional and special.
Lumiere is a revisiting of the classic abat-jour: its sleek, essential lines and the combination of the glass diffuser and the metal tripod pay homage to all its forerunners, history and innovation. Designed by the young Rodolfo Dordoni, it was first produced in 1990 and was instantly recognised as a unique and precious, yet familiar and recognisable furnishing piece.
Over the last thirty years it’s taken on different finishes and colours – from cerise to turquoise – but the inside of the diffuser has remained steadfastly white in order to boost luminosity. There’s now a second format and floor and wall versions, but it has never lost its own personality. The originality of its formal language and the freshness of its timeless design make it perfect for many different situations in terms of style and taste.
Lumiere rightly celebrated its 25th anniversary with the exhibition Lumiere’s Journey Through 25 Years of History, curated by Michele Calzevara and Elisa Ossino at the Triennale di Milano. To celebrate its full maturity at the ripe old age of 30, it has now been issued in Pastilles and Bulles, special editions of 1,000 numbered pieces, signed by Rodolfo Dordoni. In each version the shiny white diffuser is embellished with a traditional glassblowing pattern.
Pastilles is produced using a technique in which the molten paste is blown onto a special diamond-shaped mould, making for a three-dimensional surface and producing the classic faceted “Ballotton” pattern, a crisscrossed relief highly perceptible to touch.
The Bulles Lumiere is produced using a spiked mould, creating myriad little air bubbles that become trapped between the glass layers of the diffuser. Both versions have a champagne-coloured aluminium base, so that they look totally in keeping when placed near each other.
Lumiere has become a classic over the last three decades, a highly characterful best and long seller that has successfully managed to blend the noble tradition of Murano craftsmanship with contemporary industriousness and technology, channelling past and future and continuing to reinterpret itself in new and original ways.